Welcome to this week’s installment of Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week, wherein we shine a spotlight on strong women who inspire us. These ladies are a prime example of female empowerment and how crucial it is for youth to have said example to follow.

DISCLAIMER: The following article contains spoilers for Star Trek: Strange New Worlds season one.

Number One

Fast Facts:

Majel Barrett-Roddenberry as Number One on TOS. Her hair is down.

Number One on TOS.

Number One first appeared in the unaired pilot for Star Trek: The Original Series, “The Cage.” Played by Majel Barrett-Roddenberry in this appearance, Number One was the First Officer of the Enterprise. 

The series was retooled before it went to air. Still, Number One made an appearance in the first season of TOS. This was thanks to the fact that footage from “The Cage” was repurposed for the 1966 season one two-part episode “The Menagerie.” The episode established that the events of “The Cage” took place about a decade before TOS. However, no answers ever arrived about what happened to Number One.

Number One Returns:

Number One returned in the 2019 Star Trek: Discovery season two episode “An Obol for Charon.” Now played by Rebecca Romijn, she visited Captain Pike (Anson Mount) as he temporarily commanded the USS Discovery.

In six episodes of SNW, we learned lots of new information about Number One. For one thing, her full name is Una Chin-Riley. For another, she was responsible for rescuing La’An Noonien-Singh (Christina Chong) after an alleged attack by the Gorn. This inspired the younger woman to join Starfleet. In the episode “Lift Us Where Suffering Cannot Reach,” we see how La’An joining has a material effect on multiple generations of security procedures.

Ghosts of Illyria” revealed that Una is of Illyrian origin. This means her heritage includes genetic augmentations outlawed by Federation law. Strictly speaking, this prejudice means she should not be allowed to serve in Starfleet. Pike learns the truth about Number One in this episode. He vows to keep her secret so she can continue to serve alongside the rest of the Enterprise crew.

In “Spock Amok,” we learn that some of the other Enterprise crewmembers have nicknamed Number One “Where Fun Goes to Die.” They also accuse her of choosing “shore stay” over “shore leave.” But as the episode proceeds, we see Una and La’An’s unique approach to Enterprise BINGO. It swiftly becomes clear that “fun” is simply a matter of perspective.

The Real Deal:

Rebecca Romijn as Number One on SNW. She is standing in Engineering. The warp core is behind her.

Number One in Engineering. Photo Cr: Grossman/Paramount+ ©2022 ViacomCBS. All Rights Reserved.

Number One is the real deal. The full, unqualified benefits of the Federation are not available to her because she is augmented. However, she believes in Starfleet’s potential and works hard to build it into the best version of itself. We see this demonstrated by Una when she allows Doctor M’Benga (Babs Olusanmokun) to circumnavigate procedure with the emergency medical transporter.

We don’t know what will happen to Number One in upcoming episodes or how Starfleet Command will react when they inevitably learn that Una is Illyrian. But whatever the future holds for Number One, nothing can take away the invaluable contributions she has made as an integral part of the Enterprise command crew.

Why She Matters:

Why does Number One matter? She shows us that it’s possible to rise above the imperfect systems in which we find ourselves in order to change the world for the better. Using the power she has been given, Una helps those who need it whenever possible. She understands that rules can be unjust and always acts in accordance with her own sense of morality.

So, be like Number One. Never allow unenlightened regulation to obstruct the opportunity to do the right thing. Remember that you are setting an example for the next generation and strive to ensure you leave behind a better world than you were given. And don’t ever underestimate the potency of an impeccably coordinated manicure, even when measuring on a galactic scale.

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